Strengthening trade links with our South-East Asian partners

  • Senator the Hon Tim Ayres, Assistant Minister for Trade Assistant, Minister for Manufacturing

    ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand have progressed negotiations to upgrade the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

    AANZFTA has been a central pillar of Australia's trade and investment relationship with ASEAN since it entered into force in 2010.

    The purpose of the upgrade is to modernise the trade agreement, further reduce trade barriers and boost trade and investment in the region.

    Negotiations for the upgrade are focused on services, rules of origin, customs procedures, e-commerce, competition, government procurement, trade and sustainable development and ensuring Micro-Small-and-Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) are fully able to benefit from the agreement.

    Assistant Minister for Trade and Assistant Minister for Manufacturing Senator the Hon Tim Ayres led Australia's delegation to this week's negotiations in Cambodia.

    Quotes attributable to Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell:

    "ASEAN is a key strategic and economic partner for Australia and has supported regional prosperity and security for over 50 years."

    "Deepening Australia's economic engagement with Southeast Asia is a key priority for the Australian Government. Upgrading AANZFTA will contribute towards achieving the government's trade diversification objectives."

    Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Trade, Senator the Hon Tim Ayres:

    "The upgrade will deliver a fit-for-purpose agreement that captures the complexities of the modern trading environment."

    "As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be more important than ever to strengthen trade links that promote an open, inclusive and resilient region."

    "Boosting opportunities for Australian services exporters and investment in the region is a key objective."

    "We will intensify negotiations with ASEAN partners and New Zealand with the aim of concluding the negotiations this year."

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